WTI Crude
56.67
Brent Crude
62.03
Natural Gas
3.03

Category: June 2016

US crude settles at $47.40, down 26 cents, following Middle East rift over Qatar

Oil prices fell on Monday after top crude exporter Saudi Arabia and other Arab states cut ties with Qatar, raising concerns about a global deal to reduce oil production. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain closed transport links with top liquefied natural gas (LNG) and condensate shipper Qatar, accusing it of supporting extremism and undermining regional stability. The news initially pushed Brent crude prices up as much as 1 percent as geopolitical fears rippled through the market.…

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Researchers discover a new method to boost oil recovery

As oil producers struggle to adapt to lower prices, getting as much oil as possible out of every well has become even more important, despite concerns from nearby residents that some chemicals used to boost production may pollute underground water resources. Researchers from the University of Houston have reported the discovery of a nanotechnology-based solution that could address both issues -- achieving 15 percent tertiary oil recovery at low cost, without the large volume of chemicals used in most commercial…

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Scott W. Tinker: On oil and gas, Texas knows what’s best for Texas

In striking down the Obama administration’s hydraulic fracturing rule that would have put more regulations on “fracking” on federal lands, Judge Scott Skavdahl in the U.S. District Court of Wyoming got it right for the environment. When it comes to oil and gas production, each state is different because the geology, regulatory frameworks, infrastructure, economics, industries, tax laws and political climate are different. One size does not fit all. State regulators and policymakers have more experience, expertise and local knowledge…

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Venezuela’s Oil Output Decline Accelerates as Drillers Go Unpaid

Venezuela’s oil output, already the lowest since 2009, is set to slide further this year as contractors scale back drilling after the cash-strapped country fell more than $1 billion behind in payments. The Latin American nation’s oil production, which generates 95 percent of export revenue, will decline by about 11 percent to 2.1 million barrels a day by the end of the year, Barclays Plc estimates. Output is falling largely because oil-services companies aren’t being paid, according to the International Energy Agency. Venezuela’s…

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Dallas Fed survey shows oil and gas firms picking up

Oil and gas companies saw activity pick up sharply in the second quarter after contracting earlier this year, according to a Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas survey released Wednesday. Energy executives from Texas, southern New Mexico and northern Louisiana indicated their businesses even showed signs of expanding, the survey showed. More than half of respondents said the activity from their businesses, which range from oil exploration and production to support services, were level with the previous three months. The long-declining…

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Enterprise Sees Plant Curbing Gulf Oil, Gas Supply Down for Days

An Enterprise Products Partners LP plant that shut after an explosion late Monday, halting flows on a major natural gas pipeline and curbing oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, is expected to remain down for at least several days. Federal investigators were scheduled to arrive at the Pascagoula, Mississippi, gas-processing plant on Wednesday as Enterprise officials met to discuss when operations may resume, company spokesman Rick Rainey said, without providing a more detailed timeline. At least two oil and natural…

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New Drilling To Start As Oil Prices Firm Up

In a sign that the U.S. shale industry could spring back to life, one of the top Texas shale companies expects to grow both production and its rig count this year. Pioneer Natural Resources said in an updated 2016 outlook issued in June that it would increase its horizontal rig count from 12 to 17 rigs in the Permian basin in the second half of the year. Pioneer will add the first rig in September, with plans to follow that…

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Supersize Panama Canal Could Increase Houston’s Direct Trade With Asia

Years of construction, delay and anticipation will crest on June 26 as the first containership officially traverses the expanded Panama Canal. While the Central American channel has not always been a significant trade route for the Port of Houston Authority, officials say the expansion could help boost its burgeoning trade with Asia. "The fastest growing trade lane that we have right now is imports and exports to Asia," Port Authority executive director Roger Guenther said. "We've been looking forward to the expanded…

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New research project digs into mechanics of Permian geology

The outcrop of rocks that ring the Permian Basin tell the story of the area’s formation and deposition of its crude and natural gas riches with every fold, fracture and fault. A new research project, the Permian Basin Joint Industry Project, a  venture between San Antonio-based Southwest Research Institute and area producers, aims to take information gleaned from those outcrops and develop information producers can use in planning drilling programs. David Ferrill, director in the nonprofit institute’s Geosciences and Engineering…

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Mills: Texas has good plan for handling orphaned wells

Volatility in the oil and gas industry has created many problems within the industry for the past three decades. Prices have risen and fallen at least five times since 1986. Back in 1984 when the first bust was beginning, the Texas Railroad Commission came to the industry with a new problem that involved a lot of oil and gas producers going out of business and leaving the state with orphaned wells that needed to be plugged. The commission did not…

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